Could Deptford’s Thames Path get an anti-cycle chicane?

Yet another blockade of the Thames Path began this week, as workers building the new cable car finally closed part of the riverside path near the Dome. That means there’s now three separate closures around the Greenwich Peninsula, two west of the Dome, one east of it, plus the destroyed bit at Lovell’s Wharf.

But, a couple of miles further west, Greenwich Council is now planning a permanent impediment to getting along the path that’ll affect you if you cycle, jog, use a wheelchair or push a buggy. It’s planning to install a chicane on the path leading into the Millennium Quay development at Deptford from Borthwick Street – which, according to the plans, look similar to the barriers preventing cyclists from using footpaths and subways.

The plan’s a response to a number of burglaries in the development, where the perpetrators are said to have made their getaway by motorcycle along the Thames Path. So, because the police are failing to catch burglars – who are presumably caught on the private estate’s CCTV system you can see at the centre of the photo – everybody else has to suffer an inconvenience, and one of London’s best-known cycle paths gets blocked. The council’s consultation letter even admits the measure won’t stop all motorcycles and mopeds.

While it says buggies and wheelchairs will be able to get through, surely the idea of the Thames Path is to make the riverside easy for everyone to enjoy, not deter them from walking or cycling along.

If I’d had my stuff nicked by a toe-rag on a motorbike, I’d probably want the path landmined, never mind made more difficult to traverse. But this really isn’t the answer – for the burglars will just find somewhere else to steal from. It’s a law and order problem, not a traffic problem.

If you click on the image above, you can download the full PDF of the council’s plans, drawn up by Hyder Consulting – the company behind last year’s botched plan to pedestrianise Greenwich town centre, which ended up being rejected by Transport for London for its insistence on turning much of west Greenwich into a gyratory system.

What’s the point of having a cycle path if you’re going to block it? Mind you, elsewhere in the Millennium Quay development, traffic engineers have also been doing their best to mess around with cycle lanes. This probably seemed a good idea before someone put the bollards in.

For more details on the plan, e-mail by 2 September.


  1. It would be against the law to make the footpath inaccessible to wheelchair users.

  2. Brilliant idea – there are so many scooters that bomb it up and down the path, so if it slows them down, then all the better. Plus, having been burgled myself, I’m up for anything that will reduce the crime in the area.

  3. can only re-iterate the above – much needed to slow down scooters and reduce the risk of kids getting knocked over. if it stops thieves then an added bonus

  4. Minor inconvenience to cyclists prevents thieves and local toe rags on motorbikes riding on public footpath. So someone might have to push their bicycle through – big deal. Hardly an impasse is it?

  5. Where’s the proof that this will prevent crime? Surely the thieves will just speed off in the other direction instead or use one of the other huge roads that come into the estate? Sounds like a waste of time and money to me, quite aside from the inconvenience to cyclists, wheelchair users and people pushing prams.

  6. None that I’m aware of – it feels like a kneejerk reaction to what’s a crime problem, not a law and order problem.

    And that cycle lane was there before most of the residents moved in, if I remember correctly…

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